As I stood on a railed, wooden platform, not much seemed to keep me and the lion separate. In actuality, animals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park often seemed to be within reach, but were always safely contained in their enclosures by obstacles such as thick glass, fencing, or ravines. Even though the lion seemed so close, I felt reassured to know that the zoo had ingeniously created unobtrusive barriers.
While I watched, the lion did not move around much, which is expected considering African lions are inactive up to 21 hours a day. The longer I watched the passive lion, the less intimidating and cuter he became.
Just happily going about his restful day. But lounging atop the car wasn’t relaxing enough, apparently, because after his grooming session, he got up and moved to a nice, sunny patch of grass upon which to take a nap.
At this point I wondered if the clever barriers were as much to keep the lion in as to keep out people like me (who wanted to pet the lion and scratch his belly). Good thing the zoo keepers are smarter than both residents and visitors; surely they always know that the African King is no kitty.